Attachment 2, Minutes October 7, 2004
During the April 2004 meeting, the General Studies Council unanimously approved that recommendations and concerns of the 2001 General Studies Academic Review Report pertaining to the College of Fine Arts and Humanities would be referred to the college for discussion, and that suggested changes be presented to the Council during the 2004 October meeting.
Specific issues to be addressed are the following:
- Recommendation II.2: The University should make several immediate modifications to the General Studies Program that will enhance student learning: add foreign languages as a strand of the Humanities category.
- Structure of the GS Program - Issue III. 1: Why is philosophy the sole discipline within the Humanities category that students may avoid? Students are currently required to complete Humanities' coursework in literature, aesthetics and history-but not in philosophy. What are the justifications for marginalizing philosophy in this manner?
- Structure of the GS Program - Issue III.6: Why is the historical perspective considered part of the Humanities category when the Department of History is housed in the College of Natural and Social Sciences?
Following an extensive study of the FAH offerings in the General Studies Program by GS representatives and members of the College Council, the group supports the following configuration (italics represent proposed changes):
I. English language (9 hours)
a. ENG 101
-Students with an ACT score of 30 or above do not have to take ENG 101.
They may take a Fine Arts or Humanities elective in its place. (Rationale 1)
-Students with a grade of B or above in ENG 101 may take a foreign language instead of ENG 102
b. ENG 102
c. SPCH 100
II. Fine Arts ~ Aesthetics (3-6 hours) (Rationale 2)
a. Art (0 - 6)
b. Dance (0 - 6)
c. Music (0 - 6)
d. Theatre (0 - 6)
III. Humanities (9 - 15 hours from at least three separate categories) (Rationale 3)
a. Literary perspectives (0 - 6)
b. Foreign languages (0 - 6)
-Students taking a beginning language other than the one they studied in high school may count a 5-hour introductory course and a i-hour cultural component toward general studies. Students taking intermediate level language may count up to two 3-hour courses toward general studies.
c. Historical perspectives (0 - 6)
-Students may select courses from History or historically -based courses offered in the College of Fine Arts & Humanities.
d. Philosophical perspectives (0 - 6)
(1) Since the implementation of placement strategies to assign composition courses effectively, students with an ACT score of 30 or above are able to substitute any course in the GS program as an elective. The suggested change guarantees that students maintain a minimum of hours in the Fine Arts or Humanities categories.
(2) The creation of a separate Fine Arts category allows for its four disciplines - Art, Dance, Music and Theatre - to be presented as a significant component of the College of Fine Arts & Humanities. The category receives emphasis in a manner similar to the division of the College of Natural and Social Sciences into three distinct categories: Category IV Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science 36 hrs; Category V Natural Sciences 7-15 hrs, and Category VI Social and Behavioral Sciences 9-15 hrs.
(3) As recommended by the APR report, significant proposed changes in Category III Humanities include the insertion of Foreign Languages as a strand as well as the elimination of specific requirements within the category. Students would be able to select the nine hours according to their interests or requirements for the major, with the only restriction being that a minimum of three sections would be covered.
Facilitating equal representation (0-6 hrs.) for four disciplines - Literature, Foreign languages, History and Philosophy - also addresses concerns by the APR which questioned why certain departments were favored for requirements while others marginalized. The suggested format change presents the Humanities category in a format parallel to Category V Natural Sciences and the proposed Category II Fine Arts.
The proposed format also accommodates the curious position of History (housed in the College of Natural and Social Sciences) in the Humanities category. Since it is reasonable for courses (regardless of the originating department) offered in the categories representing the College of Fine Arts and Humanities to conform to the purposes, guidelines, and methods of the "humanities," this understanding is the condition for accommodating courses from a department or departments outside the college.